My Husband Sucks and I Want to Cheat on Him but I Know It’s Wrong

I am a married woman who has husband and a son. I have recently got in touch with my first ex. Well, technically we never met. I met him 20 years ago and for some reason we didn’t meet up and it has always been a void in my heart.

Recently we got in touch again, exchanging photos and started to have conversation. And the connection just got deeper and deeper. He is married with kids as well. 

He talked about meeting up and I know it is a wrong thing to do. I tried two times to tell him we cannot meet and we should talk less. But somehow, we couldn’t resist talking to each other.

So my heart is torn. One part of me wants to meet him and see if there is attraction between us. Another part of me knows this is a very bad thing to do and I ought to stop. 

I tried to work with my husband by communicating more. we even tried some complaint- free exercise with each other. But I still feel there is a distance or wall between us. My husband is a very loving dad, but he cares his son the most and sometimes I feel very lonely since we do not talk much. 

He is also an alcoholic who needs his wine every night. I tried to persuade him to drink less and maybe we could go on a date. We haven’t had any intimacy for 2 years (ever since my son was born). Once we tried to make a date night and have sex, but I didn’t feel anything and I cried afterwards.

Please Evan, what should I do?

R         

There’s so much wrong with this email that I’m not even sure where to begin.

First of all, I’m sorry, R. It’s awful to feel trapped in a sexless, connection-less marriage and you have my deepest sympathies. I don’t know if there were signs of your husband’s alcoholism, communication issues, or lack of libido before you got married, but all are serious obstacles to overcome to preserve your relationship.

The question is whether your relationship is worth preserving.

What you see is what you get.

I always tell clients that you can’t have a relationship dependent upon someone changing on your behalf. In other words, what you see is what you get. If you can’t accept him as he is right now (and I don’t see why you would), I have little reason to feel optimistic about your future as a couple.

Which brings me to you, R.

You just wrote a painful illustration as to why a (presumably) good person could find herself doing an objectively bad thing. You are attention-starved, affection-starved and you feel lonely within your own marriage. It’s positively suffocating and you see no easy way out.

That’s because there’s not. There’s only a hard path for anyone who makes poor relationship choices and then has to go through the painful process of divorce.

To avoid that process, you’ve made two egregious errors:

  1. You have made up (and bought into) a fantastical story about this married man. You call him your “ex” even though YOU’VE NEVER EVEN MET HIM. A man is not real until he’s your boyfriend. He’s hope, projection, fantasy and potential. I see why you need all of these elements in your tortured marriage, but don’t, for one second, think that this guy is your one and only. He’s just the readiest available escape hatch – a man who is equally miserable in his marriage that he’s willing to cheat as well.
  2. You have committed emotional adultery by engaging with this man. It’s one thing to find someone other than your spouse attractive on the Internet. It’s another to reach out to that person to supplement your marriage. (Imagine you discovered he was doing that to you!) And yet you pushed it even further: you “tried” to tell him you can’t meet, but are still communicating with him and asking me for permission to meet him.

Sorry. Permission not granted.

Tell your married fantasy man that you made a mistake going down this road and that you have to deal with your marriage first, and until then, you have to cut things off with him.

Then it’s up to you whether to try to fix your relationship or abandon it to start over.

Frankly, neither is a wrong choice.

The only thing that’s objectively wrong is what you’ve proposed as your solution.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Noone45

    Ick, what a wreck. This letter relies on the assumption the author is being honest. Considering the apparent lack of honesty she has either herself, I doubt she’s being entirely honest about her marriage.  Either way, if the husband is an alcoholic,  that is reason enough to divorce. If she is interested in protecting her child, she has to remove her child from that situation.  This is no time to go into escapism. that  poor child doesn’t stand a chance.

    1. 1.1
      Adrian

      Hello NoOne45,

      You said, “if the husband is an alcoholic,  that is reason enough to divorce.

      For some reason I feel like this was forced. Like she needed reasons to justify cheating and him. She needed reasons to justify why she doesn’t feel anything for him even though they are trying.

      She didn’t mention what his drinking wine everyday causes him to do that negatively affect the safety of the home, marriage, their child, or herself.

      I’m not belittling alcoholism I’m just saying “to me” here it felt forced like she needed to say something negative about him to keep people from viewing her as the bad one a.k.a cheater/marriage destroyer, etc.

      1. 1.1.1
        Noone45

        I’ve been pretty clear that I don’t think she’s an honest broker. The only tears to be shed are for that child. They deserve better parents.

        1. Noquay

          I agree.

    2. 1.2
      Chris

      What if someone has sought treatment and has been sober for a while? I think you mean if someone is an alcoholic, is still drinking and rejects treatment that is reason enough for divorce. We don’t know if the poster’s husband is an alcoholic though, whether he does get drunk every night of if she’s exaggerating.

      But for whatever reason she can’t stand her husband touching her apparently. Any desire she had has gone. I don’t think a marriage can recover from that.

      1. 1.2.1
        Noone45

        Eh, I’m gonna be the bitch here: She’s not obligated to stay with him. It doesn’t matter how saintly he may be. Most people are afraid of being the bad guy. This lw’s escapist fantasy is a way for her to fulfill “needs” without confronting reality. She doesn’t have to be the asshole. She can just keep feeding the lie that is her marriage. Everyone pretends it’s ok. I have little pity for people like this. I doubt the husband is any more grounded in reality.

  2. 2
    Adrian

    This one statement by R gives me pause:

    She said, “Once we tried to make a date night and have sex, but I didn’t feel anything… afterwards”

    Evan said, “don’t know if there were signs of your husband’s alcoholism, communication issues, or lack of libido before you got married”

    I’m thinking that either R is a smart woman capable of weeding out low quality men and therefore what Jeremy always says about people losing attraction for their partner once their goals are met is illustrated in this letter

    Or;

    She was very lonely and desperate for someone before she met the husband and she only married him because he was the best pick out of her available options. Now one son latter she still feels just as lonely as she did before she married him… I think this because of the fact that she is falling in love with a man she has never met from 20 years ago.
    … … …

    R I don’t know how old this letter is (you may have already made your decision) but I say go meet the guy and see what happens? For whatever reason you don’t want to get divorced and emotional as well as physical intimacy with your husband leaves you numb so go try this guy out if that doesn’t work go find someone else.

    You can also start driving to nearby cities on the weekends and pretend to be single to meet guys; the point is you have lots of option to cheat. Avoid anything digital like social media, or online anything since you could be caught. I would also recommend buying a cheap throw-away phone but leave it at work, never take it home and never leave it in your car to lessen the chances of someone finding it.

    1. 2.1
      Emily, the original

      Adrian

      You can also start driving to nearby cities on the weekends and pretend to be single to meet guys;

      Are you being sarcastic, Mr. Adrian? I can’t believe you would ever condone this.

      1. 2.1.1
        Adrian

        Hi Emily,

        I hope you are feeling better and I hope you are dealing with the stress of your job better.

        …   …   …

        I’m being 100% serious.

        I’m just tired of the people who ALWAYS moan about being in an unhappy marriage even after doing so much to try to save it and yet when you say get a divorce then all of a sudden you are looked at like you just suggested they cut someone’s head off.

        Next thing you know they are on here telling all of us that they stayed married until the kids got older and they should be dubbed a saint for their sacrifice… So now listen as they tell us why ALL men or All women are [insert something negative].

        Or they come here saying they made it work bow down and acknowledge their divine wisdom on marriage… So now listen as they tell us All men or All women are [insert something negative] and this is what we need to do.

        It just gets old Emily. She doesn’t want to divorce but she says they have tried so much to make it work and yet she feels nothing, so I figure she should just cheat anyway. I just ask that she writes back telling us how wonderful and happy she is now (I mean that 100% without any sarcasm).

        She is an adult! She did not write in to Evan on advice about what is write or wrong she wrote in because she HOPED he could somehow convince her to see something that she could not herself. But I think she is smart enough to do that and she knows more about herself than Evan so if she wants to cheat do it!

        Do I feel sorry for the husband? NOPE! He is either blind to her unhappiness or he is unhappy to, either way he is choosing to stay so he should want her to be happy-even if it takes another man to do it.

         

        1. Nissa

          @Adrian,
          I can’t believe you don’t have any sympathy for this woman’s husband. Regardless of gender, if a partner is unhappy, the moral response is to 1) address it with your partner and do your best to resolve it; then 2) if not resolve within a reasonable mutually agreed upon time, you separate and/or break up. That’s what mature adults do. Just because he’s a man, cheating on him is ok? I say no to that.
          Where I do agree with you is that people who aren’t brave enough to take action, should be accountable for their choices, no matter what that choice is.

        2. sylvana

          Adrian,

          I’m with Emily and Nissa. I don’t care how unhappy you are, cheating is absolutely NOT an option. Fix your shit or get out. That simple.

          Push comes to shove, she can always tell him she wants an open marriage.

          Even if he’s a lousy husband and unwilling to work on stuff, he might not deserve our sympathy, but he certainly does not deserve to be cheated on.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Adrian

          I was a lot like you before I married and became a father. There a lot of complications when children are involved. Parents make huge sacrifices for their children, and one that is made very often is to stick it out in loveless/sexless marriages.  Infidelity is damaging to children and so is divorce. It is a proven fact that children do best in an intact family, that is, as long as both parents can remain civil and focused on giving their children the best possible childhood given the circumstances.

        4. Adrian

          Nissa said, “That’s what mature adults do.

          Sylvana said, “I don’t care how unhappy you are, cheating is absolutely NOT an option.

          Oh?! Now you two get to define what being an adult and what is and is not an option for another person?

          This reminds me of the mentality and ideology of early European settlers in American, the natives were primitive compared to their standards and actions so they were justified by killing those who didn’t conform to proper European standards and christian values.

          Or the mentality and ideology of American slaveholders that felt that it was their duty to civilize the primitive Africans by teaching them proper European standards and christian values.

          Or today the people who say that children that come from poor countries are better off even if they are separated from their parents because the child concentration camps are better than where they came from and they are being taught to read, write and think like those in a first world country…

          So I guess when I ask “who are you two to tell this woman what is and is not right for HER life” you can both smuggly answer me by saying “we are in the same company of people who have been doing so for hundreds of years!”

          Because each of my examples are of people who have been forcing their own beliefs and ideals on others, you are right and they are wrong.

           

        5. Adrian

          Yet Another Guy,

          Dude! You are so freaking toxic that it hurts. You can’t see it but everyone who reads your comments see it.

          If I had to guess I would assume that it is the result of forcing yourself to stay in an unhappy marriage for years because of the kids and now that you are dating in your 50’s you feel that because you wasted your prime dating years the option of women available to you now are beneath you, so you lash out at ALL women.

          I just am not sure if you realize you are doing this or not.

          You said, “Parents make huge sacrifices for their children

          Dude! You don’t get to say anything about children. You actually have the balls to speak about all the love you have for your daughters and the sacrifices you made for them and yet you come on here every day speaking against the bodies of mothers as if they are disgusting or calling children of single mothers all the bad things you do just because they were born of another man.

          Yet I’m suppose to accept that when it comes to your children they are precious but other children are disgusting?!

          Dude SHUT THE F*CK UP! With that fake good dad talk!

          You are toxic! The result of your sacrifice is that now you treat all women like objects and you openly disdain mothers.

        6. Noone45

          Damn Adrian, you hit the nail on the head. I suspect many people use the children as an excuse to wallow on their trash heap in life. People do this with so many issues – career, hobbies, etc. They weren’t going to do it anyway. They need to stop dragging kids into it. It’s not fooling me or the kids.

          This woman is going to do what she’s going to do. Nothing Evan says will stop it. divorce is probably the best thing she can do for her husband. It’s also sadly not the worst thing she’s likely to inflict on her child.

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @Adrian

          If I had to guess I would assume that it is the result of forcing yourself to stay in an unhappy marriage for years because of the kids and now that you are dating in your 50’s you feel that because you wasted your prime dating years the option of women available to you now are beneath you, so you lash out at ALL women.

          Your inability to see that there are things greater than one’s libido when one has children demonstrates what I have thought about you all along, and, that is, you are a self-centered, inexperienced, and immature man who does not have clue about life.  If a man cannot protect his children, then he has failed as a man.  Protecting one’s children often requires sacrifice. Staying in a loveless/sexless, but otherwise functional marriage is often one of those sacrifices.  Men do it everyday. Attempting to build a straw man using my comments about female bodies demonstrates how  mentally weak you are as a man.

      2. 2.1.2
        Emily, the original

        Adrian,

        It just gets old Emily. She doesn’t want to divorce but she says they have tried so much to make it work and yet she feels nothing, so I figure she should just cheat anyway. 

        I can understand your thinking. A lot of people like to live in limbo land so they don’t have to make a decision. I had a friend in a similar situation — bad marriage, emotionally cheating/fantasizing about another man. She wouldn’t leave the marriage, but she wouldn’t do the deed with the other guy. Her husband was well aware of what was going on and, I think, put up with it rather than go through the inconvenience of a divorce (comfort usually trumps everything). (They had no children.) They eventually did divorce and the other guy bailed, so I think people can also be worried that if they leave and it doesn’t work out with their backburner person, they’ll be alone.

        1. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          I am of course against cheating but that is my personal choice. I use to think that I should give women like the letter writer my opinion but now I see that they are adults who know right from wrong.

          What she is looking for is something I am not skilled enough to provide and that is for someone to show her something or trigger within her somethign that she hasn’t seen or felt. She wants an off switch to her desire to cheat.

          As far as my other comments it’s just push back against the sanctimonious people who stay in unhappy relationships but actually have the balls to condemn you for advising them the divorce. Or the people who SWEAR that the children must come first!

          No you come first because when you are happy the child will be happy in the long run. Put your child first and you are unhappy and that creeps into your daily interactions with the child as well as everything else. But these people want to be given sainthood for their sacrifices.

        2. Emily, the original

          Adrian,

          No you come first because when you are happy the child will be happy in the long run. Put your child first and you are unhappy and that creeps into your daily interactions with the child as well as everything else. But these people want to be given sainthood for their sacrifices.

          We don’t have children, so the sacrifice is hard for us to understand. Personally, when I read how much sacrifice has to go into it, and all the tasks and chores that accompany raising kids, I’m so glad I don’t have them. And it makes me see I’ll have to date someone who doesn’t have kids because I’ll never understand it (and don’t really want to).

        3. sylvana

          Adrian,

          I still say the children have to come first. But you cannot neglect yourself.

          A lot of times, people tend to do either. Either put the children first, and neglect themselves/their own needs, or put themselves first, and the children miss out.

          Or they believe that they should still enjoy near the same life the had before they had children. And now feel like they’re missing our or neglecting their own needs, when in fact it is simply a requirement of parenthood to make sacrifices.

          Becoming a parent does involve a lot of sacrifices. Which is one of the reasons I chose to never have any kids. I have no interest, whatsoever, to make those sacrifices.

        4. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          You said, “We don’t have children, so the sacrifice is hard for us to understand.

          I use to think like this, honestly I did, but that was only because I was just regurgitating the B.S that has been feed to everyone by parents… Like somehow they stop being human when they become parents…Really?!!

          I’m NOT saying raising a child is simple, I’m NOT saying children don’t take a certain amount of sacrifice, nor am I saying that I fully know what it means to be a parent.

          What I AM saying is that the OVERUSED phrase that children’s happiness should ALWAYS come before the parents is a LIE!

          Take the word child out of the sentence and replace it with elderly mother… Best Friend… heck even a puppy…

          It honestly doesn’t matter, people who are happy treat other people and things around them better than people who are UNHAPPY!!!

          And NO matter how hard they try an unhappy person can NOT fake happiness forever, nor can they hide their unhappiness from others…Children are not as dumb as people credit them to be.

          Sure you stayed married for your child and let’s even say that you two are friendly towards each other… Do you honestly believe that a person who has no intimate emotional connection with the adult they are living with, but instead has repressed anger and possibly disgust towards that adult won’t somehow take it out on their child?

          Either with neglect because they are too self-absorbed in their own pain (going to soccer games is not the same as raising a child in a loving environment) or by smothering the child with too much attention because they are using the child as an emotional substitute for an adult relationship.

          This all reminds me of a health nut adult friend I had as a teen who was telling me how important it was to exercise and eat healthy. He said that the problem many skinny people and vegetarians is that they assume that just because they are skinny or not eating meat that they are healthy; though they are eating nothing but garbage all day while sitting on the couch 12 hours a day.

          The saddest part is that many of those skinny people or vegetarians will look at overweight people and assume superiority over them because they are comparing what’s on the outside. To me many of the arguments for being in an unhappy marriage where there is NO emotional connection, NO sex, NO attraction, NO friendship

          YET!!!

          They don’t fight and they are cordial with each other and therefore this is somehow good for the kids is PURE B.S!

        5. Noone45

          I have to agree with you Adrian. People act as if having children is some life-qualifying event. Nope, most parents are garbage, married or not. Most families have major issues, divorced or not. People think they are hiding their dysfunction from their children, but they aren’t. The stories many adults tell me about their parental relationships are appalling. Parents act like martyrs because they raised children. Well, no one ever asked to be freaking born. The least you can do is care for your child and try to inflict as little of your neuroses on the wee human as possible.

          As for this idea on must have children to understand – No, if having children is the only way for you to understand empathy, you should never reproduce.

        6. Emily, the original

          Adrian,

          Adrian wrote to YAG:
          Dude! You are so freaking toxic that it hurts. You can’t see it but everyone who reads your comments see it.
          If I had to guess I would assume that it is the result of forcing yourself to stay in an unhappy marriage for years because of the kids and now that you are dating in your 50’s you feel that because you wasted your prime dating years the option of women available to you now are beneath you, so you lash out at ALL women.
          Wow, Adrian. I agree with you , but I have never heard you talk like this.

          Adrian wrote to Emily:

          They don’t fight and they are cordial with each other and therefore this is somehow good for the kids is PURE B.S!

          Are you allright? You seem riled up and angry. I’m not criticizing. It just seems out of character.

        7. Yet Another Guy

          First off, to refute Adrian’s assertion that I wasted my prime dating years.  That is a negative. I was significantly past normal marriage age for my generation when I married.  I did not marry until age 37, and I dated a lot of women before I married.  I am willing to bet that that number is significantly larger than Adrian has dated; therefore, I am not in any way upset that I wasted my prime years.  I was ready to settle down.  Secondly, the belief that it is somehow a crime to stay in an otherwise functional marriage to protect one’s children instead of feeding one’s libido demonstrates a lack of maturity a man Adrian’s age should possess.  Divorce places children on the outside.  Any child psychologist will verify that reality.

          Furthermore, to conflate how I date with how I treat those whose lives would not exist without my actions is little more than straw man.  One does not know what one will do until one has lived it.  To stand on the outside and throw stones demonstrates a lack of social intelligence combined with immaturity to a degree that I cannot even imagine another adult human being possessing.  There is a reason why women put “My children come first” in their profiles.  Men may not like it, but those of us who are fathers can respect it.  Emily was wise enough to state that she would not know what she would do because she was not a parent.

          Noone45 seems to feel that the lack of support for divorce in this case is an indictment of single motherhood.  I am sorry that she appears to have an axe to grind on the subject.  However, what I read in her posts reveals lingering pain that she still feels from her divorce.  She masks it by advocating for single motherhood.  No child benefits when parents who no longer sexually desire each other, but are in an otherwise functional marriage divorce.  Not having sex does not automatically translate to misery.  There are millions of married couples who do not have sex.

        8. Noone45

          I’m not advocating for anything. I’m refuting your stereotypical world view. You seem to have this opinion that if someone lives in a different manner than you then it must be wrong. I personally don’t care what you do with your life. It’s of little consequence.  I push back because I know many single mothers read this blog. They aren’t all stupid sluts who bring a new man in every month. Most of them aren’t even like that. The outcome for children of educated single mothers is equal to that of married parents according to most modern research. If anything should be advanced, it’s the idea every mother should be educated and self sufficient.

          As for my pain, sure, I’ve got it. I’ll never be “over it”. None of it will ever disappear, but I don’t do things to mask that pain as you seem to suggest. I just feel through it and accept that sometimes life is painful. My life is peaceful and I can provide for all my family’s needs. I also go out when I want, date, and have even vacationed, all of this whole being a mother. Call me a bad mother all day, I’ll wear the label.

          I’m not saying she should divorce because so she can get laid. I’m saying she should divorce because she’s clearly an awful partner.

           

        9. Yet Another Guy

          @Noone45

          I push back because I know many single mothers read this blog. They aren’t all stupid sluts who bring a new man in every month. Most of them aren’t even like that.

          Are you telling me that the majority of single mothers never introduce the men they are dating to their children?  I have to call BS on that one.  You clearly live in alternative universe due to being your feeling that you are unattractive.  I can assure you that attractive single mothers have numerous suitors.

          The outcome for children of educated single mothers is equal to that of married parents according to most modern research.

          Please cite peer-review studies that support your claim.  I can assure that for every peer-reviewed study that supports your claim, I can produce several that support that the outcome is not the same, especially for boys.

        10. Noone45

          “You clearly live in alternative universe due to being your feeling that you are unattractive.”

          I don’t feel I’m unattractive, I know I am. Big difference. I can objectively prove it. I am one of those low SMV women you whine about. Now, I suspect you bring that up to invalidate my opinion. The ugly girl’s opinions don’t matter. Nice try. I’ve been on this planet 36 years. A man boiling me down to my physical form is old hat and frankly just boring. It doesn’t move me at this point.

          There’s no engaging with you. Your last paragraph states you have no interest in learning anything about the world. As I have said, I date, I do not introduce those men to my son. I know other single mothers who date. They don’t introduce their dates to their kids. No one I know does it until they are certain it’s a serious relationship. Normally past the six-month mark. It’s called moving slow.

          Either way, we’re in an age where men are not needed for protection or income in the western world. Perhaps it time men figured that out. If that’s all you’ve got, you won’t find quality people. Bring something to the table that makes a woman actually want you.

  3. 3
    No Name To Give

    Either cut off all contact with married guy and get into marriage counseling or file for divorce and focus on putting your son’s life back together and yours. But don’t get involved with another man right now. I am ashamed to admit that I made such a mistake 15 years ago and if I had to do it all over again, it might still have ended in divorce, but I would not have gotten involved in an affair. Whatever you do, end well so that either way you can look at yourself in the mirror and say you did all you could for that marriage.

  4. 4
    ScottH

    You have a 2 yo son and are married to an uncooperative alcoholic?  Your options start at terrible and go downhill in a hurry.  My situation was similar to yours and my heart goes out to all in that situation.  I won’t go into the details about what I did to survive (fwb) as that only invites trolls out of the woodwork.  Good luck to you.  Just be careful whatever you decide.  You have a long bumpy road in front of you.

  5. 5
    Mrs Happy

    Take it from someone who has walked your walk.  I’ll tell you what I think you should do, which is the harder course, and not what I did, because my way caused a catastrophic marriage implosion, and I’d not wish that on your infant child.

    You should definitely try marriage counselling together, because you have a son whose father loves him a lot, and you sound damaged, and your husband may be an alcoholic (how much wine every night? If it’s a glass or two, that’s normal).  The counsellor will identify relating problems and work with you to try solutions, and may also suggest individual therapy for each adult.  Then you work on the solutions individually and together.  If things don’t improve over a year or so, the marriage dissolves.  Be warned – this means your little son’s world will fall apart.  At 3, to lose half the main people in your little world, is no small thing, and don’t believe those who say otherwise.  I’m very pro-child though, and that’s not everybody’s focus.

    You should stop communicating with the other man because he is your lifeline and solace and you won’t try much with your husband if the other man is waiting in the wings.  By the way, I know exactly how near impossible this is, because you are falling in love with the other man, if not there already.  The only way you’ll be able to stop is to remind yourself it’s best for your son if his parents’ marriage is healthy and works.

    Adrian’s solutions above are the other option, and many people do live double lives, cheating on their family.  This is an option, and as ScottH experienced, it can keep a family together, and for the sake of a very young child I think this may be a reasonable thing to do.  But I don’t know what it would do to your psyche.  And at heart I think it’s wrong to cheat on your husband over extended periods of time.  If you could cope with it, you could discuss an open marriage with your husband.

    Incidentally, all the above advice assumes you and the child are not being abused by an alcoholic man.  If you are, leave the marriage now.

    1. 5.1
      Marika

      I had to chip in on the alcoholism thing, as you mentioned, Mrs Happy. I know Australia and America have a different relationship with alcohol, but if this woman is calling a man who has a couple of wines with dinner and while watching TV at night an alcoholic…um, no. That would mean every second parent in Sydney (or possibly more) is an alcoholic! Yes, we’re a heavy drinking culture, but alcoholism is a whole different beast. It strikes me as quite puritanical to put this label on- and possibly, as Adrian suggests, an excuse to justify cheating.

      Of course, if he is abusive, skipping work to drink/sleep off a hangover on a regular basis, or drinking at work or while driving the child around – that’s a different story.

      1. 5.1.1
        Chris

        We don’t know how bad his drinking is. You would think if it was so bad it was disrupting their relationship she would have mentioned it more than just as a brief afterthought at the end.

        I get the impression he’s trying as best he can, but all their efforts break down primarily because of some barrier she feels between them. That barrier is that she lost all sexual attraction to him.

        And this might sound uncharitable, but the reason for that may simply that be that her attraction to him was only based on his potential as a father and husband, and now that potential has been fulfilled.

         

    2. 5.2
      sylvana

      Mrs. Happy,

      I still do not see cheating as an option. Particularly not one that will keep a marriage together. Because that’s headed straight toward total disaster the moment the deception, lies, and break of trust comes out. And what happens if she catches and STD, or ends up with a psycho stalker?

      The only other option I see is discussing an open marriage with her husband. That way, they can stay together or the child IF they both agree and can handle it.

      Sure, the risks of STDs and stalkers, etc. are the same. But at least the partner wouldn’t be blindsided by this. And he’d have the same opportunity to find his own happiness.

    3. 5.3
      Adrian

      Mrs Happy said, ” Be warned – this means your little son’s world will fall apart.  At 3, to lose half the main people in your little world, is no small thing, and don’t believe those who say otherwise.

      Hi are you the same Mrs Happy that once debated every female on here single-handedly because you advised that a child is happier overall with 2 happy yet divorced parents than they are with 2 married but unhappy parents?

      If so what happened? Did you get tired of being ganged upon in the comments? From saying divorce can be good for children to defending your friends love of their husbands even though they don’t always want sex I can see how maybe you wanted to just get along peacefully and go with the crowd?

      This woman says she is getting romanced by this man and making love to this man and yet at the end she feels nothing, they have tried things to make the marriage work and yet nothing has helped (her) but you are advising her to still try to work it out?

      You are usually very pragmatic

      ….   …   …

      On a completely different note how are you feeling? Are you done with the Chemo treatments?

      How is your work and social life? Is your experiment proving to be fruitful?

      1. 5.3.1
        Mrs Happy

        Dear Adrian,

        I doubt I ever wrote divorce is good for children (unless there is abuse), because I think very differently.  And no I am not a person who would change my stance to go with the crowd!  To be such a flim-flam, what a whym wham, as Skelton would say.

        I realise you’re angry this week and that’s fine, in fact a side of you I rarely observe and it’s good to see you have strong reactions, but I hope nothing too stressful has occurred in your life.

        Please don’t take this too negatively – but until you father children, you cannot understand the emotional shift which occurs in some men, when they do so, and their desire to protect their child, even to the tune of staying in a less-than-perfect marriage.

        Almost all blended families I’ve been privy to the inner workings of, come with large problems, e.g. jealousies of love, time and money allocation, and the non-bio parent just not caring as much for the children as the bio parent.  In general, I think it’s negative for kids to be raised in such a unit.

        I think I’m right.  Of course, everyone does.  But I could be wrong.

        My ‘haters gonna hate’ position is severe irritation when people insist that breaking up is good for the children.  Um, no – the adults want the breakup, almost never the kids.  It’s an adult self-justification.

        Thank you for your queries, I’m feeling good, done with the acute cancer treatment, still doing my social friendship experiment and it’s working just fine.  It’s spring here and I just planted tomatoes, leeks, pumpkins, gum trees, and herb gardens, and took the kids to the beach (school holidays now).  Work is, as always, far too busy, but is relegated to its rightful place for now.

         

        1. Adrian

          Hi Mrs. Happy,

          I am not angry  (^_^).

          You said, “I doubt I ever wrote divorce is good for children

          I apologize you are correct I was wrong.  What you actually said was that an affair is better than a divorce.

          Starting at Marika’s comment #13. The debate was which is worse for a child.

          Why Women Cheat on Their Husbands

        2. Mrs Happy

          Dear Adrian,

          yes that sounds like me – in this, I suspect I’m similar to ScottH at #4 above on this thread, he had affairs to minimise harm to his child.  YAG “set the table for one” as he said.  People hurt by cheating spouses will rail against the affair solution.  People harmed in sexless marriages will rail against YAG’s solution.

          People do different things for different reasons and beliefs, and there is no easy solution to this sort of mess, and really, no-one is 100% right.

          Just remember Adrian: if you marry for life, then very likely the most important decision in your life, is who you choose to be your spouse.  It trumps most other things we are taught are important, like education, career, living location, etc.  Nothing shapes your life like the person with whom you share it.  So take good careful care, making that choice.

          P.S. You are allowed to be angry.  Just FYI.

        3. Jeremy

          @Mrs Happy, well-crafted comments here on all levels.  I find vegetable gardens relaxing too, though my new backyard is too shady to grow much.  Something soothing about producing food from the earth, something more satisfying in the food when you worked for it, when it demanded effort from you and you rose to the occasion.  It’s almost primal.

          Glad to hear you are doing well.

  6. 6
    SparklingEmerald

    No one seems to have addressed the other wife in this situation.  Honestly, don’t know if the letter writer’s hubby is that bad of a guy as she describes him, or if she’s trying to justify cheating on him.  But we know nothing of the other wife.  Sorry to sound judgey hear, but if she decides to sleep with a married man (weather she is married or not), then AFAIC, she’s a homewrecking bitch.  And the man she is thinking of cheating with is no prize either.  Any relationship that comes of this fantasy is damned from the start, two untrustworthy people who based a relationship on lying and cheating.

    1. 6.1
      Noone45

      Truth be told, we should be happy many of the people here can’t seem to find a relationship because many are ill-suited for one. I didn’t mention your point because it goes without saying, for well adjusted people.  What really gets me are the people screaming “save the marriage”. Why? She’s clearly not marriage material. As for the child, they are going to grow older and see the parents dysfunctional relationship as normal. That’s just awful.  That people think that’s some kind of favor to a child is proof of just how few people are up to the task of parenting.

      1. 6.1.1
        SparklingEmerald

        Very true, staying in a dysfunctional marriage does the children no favors, and I was not implying that she should STAY.  I am the by-product of the marriage from hell, and I wish my parents had split rather than stay together in that hell hole of a marriage.

        My point was, that not only is SHE cheating, but she is having an affair with a MARRIED man with kids (plural).  Her actions don’t just affect her family, but another woman, whom we know nothing about and children.  For whatever reason, everyone seems oblivious or indifferent to that fact.

        I agree with other posters, that she seems to be painting a negative portrait of her husband in order to justify breaking up another family by cheating.

        She says her husband is an alcoholic because he drinks wine at night, but she doesn’t list any negative behavior that happens when he drinks.  She says they haven’t been intimate for years, and the one time they tried SHE didn’t feel it and ended up crying.  Sounds like she lost her attraction (if she ever had it for him) and that may be the root cause of the lack of intimacy.  (What man would want to initiate love making with a woman whose response was to cry)

        As for his bad communication, well, she doesn’t sound like such a great communicator herself, as she has been “communicating” with her married crush that they should stop communicating, but they don’t.

        I am wondering if she married fairly young.  Her referring to a man she never met in person, seems pretty sophmoric.  To be pining over him 20 years later, indicates that she was probably pining over a fantasy when she married her husband.

        I think she needs to get help at the very least to fix HER issues.  That may be a first step to resolving her marital issues.  Truthfully, she seems like a hot mess.  If she can’t fix her marriage (and it seems unlikely) she should divorce,  doing all she can to minimize the negative impact on her son, who her husband loves very much.   She absolutely should NOT follow up on this crush, who is now married with kids.  I am wondering how they got back in touch.  She doesn’t say.  Did she reach out to him, or vice versa.

      2. 6.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Noone45

        As for the child, they are going to grow older and see the parents dysfunctional relationship as normal.

        As opposed to seeing men and women come in and out of their lives when their parents divorce and start dating other people? That is every bit as dysfunctional for a child.  I have yet to see someone who grew up in a blended family who is as balanced as someone whose parents did not divorce until they were close to or in adulthood or did not divorce at all.  There is a difference between parents that are friends, but not lovers and parents that are not lovers who are at each other’s throats all of the time.  The first case is a comfort marriage.  The second case is Hell on Earth.

        1. Noone45

          Why do you make that assumption? I don’t do anything of the things you have suggested single parents do. Nor do any of the other single parents I know. Perhaps you are surrounded by people as disordered as yourself and that is why you keep seeing these scenarios.  Says a lot more about you than anything else.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Noone45

          Not everyone refrains from dating while their children are still young, and very few people who date as single parents keep the people they date firewalled off from their children indefinitely because it can severely limit the amount of time that they can spend together, especially when the mother has primary custody.    I have seen people remarry and divorce one or more times while their children were still young, talk about messing up one’s children.

          I never had to deal with this problem because my children were only a couple of years away from being adults when my ex and I split.  It is different starting the divorce process when one’s children are in their sophomore year of high school than when they are in preschool or elementary school.  I am sorry, but a parent who puts his/her libido ahead of maintaining a healthy nuclear family is a selfish asshole.  I am not going to back down from that stance.   Healthy does not mean that mom and dad are having regular sex.  Healthy means that children grow up a nurturing home where both parents are there for them every day and show each other respect.   One does not leave because he/she is not getting enough sex.  That is a prime example of messed up priorities.

        3. sylvana

          And once again YAG blindsides me with a level of maturity I never saw coming. Totally agree.

        4. Noone45

          “Not everyone refrains from dating while their children are still young, and very few people who date as single parents keep the people they date firewalled off from their children indefinitely because it can severely limit the amount of time that they can spend together, especially when the mother has primary custody. ”

          And that’s why you don’t bring them around until you are dead sure it’s a serious, committed relationship with a future. Either way, you are just repeating the tired old stereotype that single mothers are hoes who too dumb to protect their children. Most of the single dads i’ve seen are far worse when it comes to bringing strange people around.

          “I have seen people remarry and divorce one or more times while their children were still young, talk about messing up one’s children.”

          Surround yourself with smarter people. Might fix what you see in the future.

          ” It is different starting the divorce process when one’s children are in their sophomore year of high school than when they are in preschool or elementary school.  ”

          Actually, the research has consistently shown children deal better with divorce when they are younger. Before the age of six is actually the optimum age to divorce. And believe it or not, children of single mothers will a college education do just as well as those who were in a two parent home. Strangely enough, children who live in a home with a bio dad who remarried do worse than the children of single mothers (of any educational level). Your opinions aren’t facts, and you should stop pretending they are.

           

        5. Mrs Happy

          I totally agree with YAG and will add – a parent who puts his/her libido (or emotional needs, or whatever love language they desire most) ahead of maintaining a healthy nuclear family is a selfish asshole.

          Once you have a child I think you should you prioritise the child over yourself.  Give the child a stable home until 18.  It is YOUR JOB AS A PARENT.

        6. Mrs Happy

          “And once again YAG blindsides me with a level of maturity I never saw coming.”

          YAG is a stellar father who put his children first, and kudos to him for that.  He is now seemingly sleeping his way around the continental US, but he is allowed to, he is a free agent.

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @Mrs Happy

          Once you have a child I think you should you prioritise the child over yourself.  Give the child a stable home until 18.  It is YOUR JOB AS A PARENT.

          Noone45 is attempting to justify what is an unjustifiable decision.  Divorce because one’s spouse is abusive is justifiable. Divorce because one’s spouse is not giving one enough sex is not.  Marriage as an institution exists to protect children.

          Since Noone45 is spouting off statistics.  I will spout off a few of my own.  Girls whose father’s leave the home the before age 13 are more likely to become sexually promiscuous at an early age, perform poorer in school, and are far more likely to become teenage mothers than girls whose fathers are home during these years.  It is not that single mothers cannot do a good job.  It is that a two-parent family is almost always preferable to single motherhood, that is, as long as there is no abuse in the home.

        8. Noone45

          If daring to leave someone who cheated on me, blew all of the money, and then refused to better himself makes me an asshole, then so be it – I’ll gladly be the asshole. Most of you are far too concerned what others think of you to begin with.  I was having three to four panic attacks a week, a bank account that was negative every week, insomnia, and worse while I was married.  Guess I should have tolerated that for the kid. My life is much better after divorce. Truth be told, most people are afraid of change and that’s what drives their actions. I don’t fear it really, and I’m totally ok with being disliked.

        9. Yet Another Guy

          @Noone45

          That is called disrespect and abuse.  No one should stay in a disrespectful, abusive marriage.  That is unhealthy for everyone involved.

        10. Noone45

          Please, marriage was created to protect property. It was created to ensure property was kept within the family. It was also used to solidify alliances between families. Protecting kids my butt. Considering how often children were and are abused, mistreated, and abandoned, its doing a piss poor of protecting them.

           

           

        11. Emily, the original

          Noone45,

          Truth be told, most people are afraid of change and that’s what drives their actions. I don’t fear it really, and I’m totally ok with being disliked.

          Change is also a pain in the ass, which is why so many people avoid it. If you leave, you’ll have to find a new home, buy new furniture, etc., and convenience and creature comfort keep a lot of people in situations they claim not to be happy in. You have to go through a lot of darkness to come out on the other side. You have to rebuild your entire life. It’s a lot of work.

        12. Yet Another Guy

          @Noone45

          marriage was created to protect property. It was created to ensure property was kept within the family. It was also used to solidify alliances between families.

          That is not true for legal marriage.  Legal marriage was created in the United States to prevent children from becoming dependent upon the state.  Marriage was a legal joint commitment made toward providing and caring for any children produced by a marriage.  The introduction of “no-fault” divorce in the 60s and 70s resulted in marriage morphing into a self-fulfillment contract between two people because people could now divorce for silly stuff like one spouse not wanting to have sex as often as the other spouse.  That was not grounds for divorce in most states when no-fault divorce did not exist.  Divorce and illegitimacy are what drove the creation of modern child support laws and child support collection agencies, which exist as a proxy for marriage.

        13. No Name To Give

          I must agree with YAG here. I did date a little while they were young – wish I had not – but I never had a flavor of the month. There was one serious person I dated who did not sleep with me when my kids were with me.

    2. 6.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @SparklingEmerald

      Sorry to sound judgey here, but if she decides to sleep with a married man (whether she is married or not), then AFAIC, she’s a homewrecking bitch.

      Please do not sugar coat it, SE. 🙂

       

       

    3. 6.3
      sylvana

      Sparkling Emerald,

      yes, yes, and yes. I was thinking the same thing as well. What about the other wife and the other man’s children? Cheating with a single man would be bad enough. But this involves not just her own, but another person’s family.

      1. 6.3.1
        Mrs Happy

        She is emotionally damaged.  It’s going to be a train wreck through 2 families unless she starts to get help.

  7. 7
    Gab

    @Yet Another Guy

    I think the key is having parents who are around and get along, and work together for the benefit of the kids. My ex and I ended our marriage when our kids were elementary school age. However we have a very friendly relationship, coparent 50/50, split earnings and costs 50/50. We share similar overall views on mixing dating and kids, and we can easily hang out together with the kids. In fact we will soon be trialling a new living arrangement where we will keep the kids in one home near their schools and rent a 2 bedroom apartment in the city, and the adults will move between the two. Stability for the kids and a chance to enjoy city life for the single parents. I can assure you, married we were terrible… bickering constantly, no affection of any kind, and both deeply unhappy. I ended it when I realized the example of marriage we were giving the kids was so dysfunctional. To put it bluntly, I didn’t want either my son or daughter to grow up to be like us or to end up with a partner like us.  There was definitely an adjustment period for the kids, mainly because they didn’t have a positive blueprint of what divorce could be, but everything seems to be ok now. I think the key is not about staying in the marriage – rather it’s about staying in the relationship and making it as good as you can for the sake of the children.

    1. 7.1
      Mrs Happy

      Dear Gab,

      my next-door neighbours did that – the children stayed in their house, the family home they knew, near their schools and friends and sporting clubs, and the parents shared custody, with parents moving in and out of the family home for the nights they were ‘on’ with the kids, the other parent staying alone in a unit they’d bought nearby.  I thought, what wonderful adults, prioritising some semblance of stability in their childrens’ lives.  I loved that it was the adults who had to pack bags and move to and from different homes every week.

      I liked them as neighbours, as people, relatively amicably sorting their separation.  Unfortunately, after a few years the arrangement collapsed and they had to sell the house.  Why? – because the parents’ new partners didn’t want to live like that (moving every week).   Of course as the new partners weren’t the biological parents of the kids, they were never going to be as invested in the childrens’ welfare and stability, never going to prioritise the kids at such personal disadvantage and disruption.

      1. 7.1.1
        Gab

        I can see how it can break down and I don’t imagine we will do this long-term. That said, he is unlikely to want to live with a partner again. As for me, while in my fantasy I meet someone, blend families, everyone loves each other and gets along, the chances of that happening are slim. Every 40+ divorced guy I’ve met has either serious emotional or financial baggage, or incompatible custody arrangements.

        1. Scooter

          Every 40+ divorced guy I’ve met has either serious emotional or financial baggage, or incompatible custody arrangements.

          For me, it seems as if every 40+ woman is an emotional wreck and seeking to take out her anger on the “next guy” in-line.

          Often enough, I meet a very attractive 40+ woman and wonder, “why is this woman single?”  After a few months, I find out.. in a bad way. Lol..

        2. Gab

          @ Scooter

          I don’t doubt it. My ex-husband recently started dating and said the same. I think the hardships of life and broken relationships really hit some people hard.

  8. 8
    beluckyinlove.net

    In my opinion this marriage is dead. There is no emotional connection, no sex and no attraction. It is dead, people!

    How is saving it for the sake of a kid supposed to make the woman happy? Her kid will sense her unhappiness! PLUS – the kid will grow up and never thank his mom for keeping the family together. Kids are egoistical creatures. Do not expect them bowing to their parents the rest of their life.

    In the end – it is the unhappy with a bunch of wrinkles woman who ends up losing. She will always wonder about that opportunity she had  and ‘what -ifs’ attached to it.

  9. 9
    Marie

    I don’t comment much on this blog anymore having recently celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and our son’s first birthday (yes Evan and Co. it’s been that long!).  However, I have to say I find it bizarre how some people on this blog are thinking they understand something they don’t.  I’m sorry but those who have never had kids cannot possibly comprehend the depth to which becoming a parent changes you and your priorities.  And no, it is not the same thing just being around kids, having friends with kids, watching families on TV shows and social media.  Seriously you have no idea what it’s like to be a parent until you are one.  It’s like people who have never been married telling people what it’s like to be married.  Oh wait…

  10. 10
    La Miss

    I think this has to be the most depressing thread I’ve ever read on this blog. I agree with Noone45 that it has to be because of the nature of the sample (people that are not good at healthy relationships).

    I’m the product of a dysfunctional relationship, and my siblings and I only got relief once our parents divorced. I’m now a psychologist (surprise surprise). Children understand so much of what goes on in the home, they have to, their survival depends on it, and they will learn what is required of them, even if that means pretending they are fine (though the signs of distress will be there if you have the emotional capacity to notice). Whether you realise it or not they are vigilant to what you tell them as well as all the unsaids. It is incredibly harmful to them to be brought up by parents pretending that everything is fine when it is clearly not. A parent who has checked out because of addiction is not fine. Having parents who have checked out of the marriage without owning up to it is not fine. A lying, cheating, inauthentic, duplicitous, repressed, etc etc parent is not fine.

    OP I don’t judge you, like Evan said it’s an incredibly tough situation. But please at least try to do what’s right. Get professional help and try to either repair your marriage or leave it as cleanly as you can. A professional can also help you find the words to explain things to your son in the best way for him. And soon! Your son needs you to at least try. He is carrying too much weight already, too much baggage that he hasn’t asked for. Give him a chance at a healthy understanding of human interaction, choice, and responsibility. One day he might ask you why you did what you did.

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